Barre Chord Question

sFLsniper

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I hope someone has a simple explanation about this, googling didn't help.
Learning the circle of the fifths and I realized my names for barre chords are wrong. I thought a G major barre chord was made with the barre on the G note on the 6th string. Why is it that a G minor barre chord and not a major? I assume the answer will apply to a lot of the other barre chords too.

TYIA
 

Larry8016

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Barre chords both major & minor are based on an open E chord. Play an open E chord with 2nd finger 1st fret G string, 3rd finger 2nd fret A string and 4th finger 2nd fret D string. Move it up one fret and bar all the strings behind the 1st fret with your 1st finger (taking the place of the nut) and you have a Barre F major chord and so on as you move up the neck. For a minor chord just eliminate your 2nd finger and bar it. I think I got that right - guys??
 
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THAWK819

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Barre chords both major & minor are based on an open E chord. Play an open E chord with 2nd finger 1st fret G string, 3rd finger 2nd fret A string and 4th finger 2nd fret D string. Move it up one fret and bar all the strings behind the 1st fret with your 1st finger (taking the place of the nut) and you have a Barre F major chord and so on as you move up the neck. For a minor chord just eliminate your 2nd finger and bar it. I think I got that right - guys??
Yes; you're either correct or I've been wrong about it for decades too.
 

SloMoTX

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Look at Justin's website online. It will show the cords and notes.

 

sFLsniper

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Barre chords both major & minor are based on an open E chord. Play an open E chord with 2nd finger 1st fret G string, 3rd finger 2nd fret A string, and 4th finger 2nd fret D string. Move it up one fret and bar all the strings behind the 1st fret with your 1st finger (taking the place of the nut) and you have a Barre F major chord and so on as you move up the neck. For a minor chord just eliminate your 2nd finger and bar it. I think I got that right - guys??
I didn't hear the guy in the video say remove the second finger to make it a minor chord. but, I watched it again and I now see he did remove that finger.
But in the video, he uses his first finger the barre 3rd fret A string (C), and uses all 4 fingers but calls it a C minor? 6 min 25 seconds. I'm not meaning to promote the channel. I hope it's okay I shared the video.
the video

Thank you
 
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sFLsniper

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The C major barre chord (and higher) with the root on the A string, is hard to fret!
 

Larry8016

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Yes, that barre chord is based on an open A chord - major & minor. I call the E based barre chord #1 and the A based barre chord #2.
 

Southwest

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Remember there are two shapes that have the root on the A string. The "A shape" as referenced above and the "C shape" which is what I think the OP is referring to as hard to fret.

With regard to the "A shape", one trick I learned for barre is to use the third finger to barre the D, G and B strings. Takes a while to learn, but solves the fretting issues my sausage fingers can cause at the top of the fretboard.
 

Larry8016

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Yes Southwest, that is definitely the best way to play an A based major barre chord. For minor start with the same fingers I explained above for an E major chord but move it over a string (away from your head as you look down at the guitar) for an A minor chord with the open A string being your root. Move it up one fret, bar the A and high E strings with your 1st finger and you have a Bb minor barre chord. I believe this is what the video is referring to on the 3rd fret making it a C minor chord. Whew - help me guys & gals!
 
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cybermgk

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Wothout getting too much down the music theory rabbit hole, the big difference between a major and a minor chord, is the minor chord is the same as the major, but with a flatted 3rd. To 'flatten' any fretted note, is to simply move down a fret.

This is what you see in the fingering difference between an open E and E Minor, or A and A minor.

em-to-e-major-750.jpg


Achord.jpg


As you see on the E major and E Minor, the difference is changing that G# to a G, or changing the note to a half step down, or flatting the note.

To make that scale minor, we need to flat the 3rd, 6th and 7th notes. But, most chords, won't have the 6th and 7th fretted, Major chords will only have the 1st , 3rd and fith of the scale. So we flat that third to make Major into minor.

Looked at another way, the E Major scale (of which all the fretted notes in the E major scale come from, though not all notes of the scale are played in the chord) is

E, F♯, G♯, A, B, C♯, and D♯

The G# is the third note, of the scale. To make that scale the minor version, we flat that third, 6th and 7th to get

E, F♯, G, A, B, C, and D

But, as I mentioned a major scale (and for that matter a minor scale) on guitar typically consists of only the 1, 3 and 5 notes of the scale so in diagram above the fretted notes go from:

E B E G# B E (1 5 1 3 5 1) to E B E G B E (1 5 1 3flat 5 1)

And on the A Major to A minor

A E A C# E (1 5 1 3 5) to A E A C E (1 5 1 3flat 5)

I use the A and E, because those are 2 of the more played 'forms' of barre chords for major chords. As mentioned by others, the same fingering as the open E, or open A chords, just using your index finger, the barre as the nut, positioning it for the E Barre chords on the fret on the low E string that corresponds to the Root, or simply name of the chord you are playing. The A using the 5th or A string, the same way

I.E. barring the third fret, which on the low E, 6th string is a G, and using the E form, as if that 3rd fret was the nut, is a G major barre chord.
 

rfrizz

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Remember there are two shapes that have the root on the A string. The "A shape" as referenced above and the "C shape" which is what I think the OP is referring to as hard to fret.

With regard to the "A shape", one trick I learned for barre is to use the third finger to barre the D, G and B strings. Takes a while to learn, but solves the fretting issues my sausage fingers can cause at the top of the fretboard.
I do the same thing, but sometimes I am able to place the last two segments of my ring finger juuuust right, and the e string will also sound.
 

rfrizz

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I hope someone has a simple explanation about this, googling didn't help.
Learning the circle of the fifths and I realized my names for barre chords are wrong. I thought a G major barre chord was made with the barre on the G note on the 6th string. Why is it that a G minor barre chord and not a major? I assume the answer will apply to a lot of the other barre chords too.

TYIA
Something I have always encouraged guitarists to do is learn a little bit of piano/keyboard, and know how to read sheet music, at least on the treble clef. You don't have to be great at it, but just knowing how it works and how it applies to a piano/keyboard makes learning music theory a lot easier.

I knew a little piano before I started classical guitar in high school, and it was a big help. With this knowledge, the absence of B#/Cb and E#/Fb made sense.

A used keyboard for US$30 is good enough to learn this.
 

Uncle Vinnie

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I hope someone has a simple explanation about this, googling didn't help.
Learning the circle of the fifths and I realized my names for barre chords are wrong. I thought a G major barre chord was made with the barre on the G note on the 6th string. Why is it that a G minor barre chord and not a major? I assume the answer will apply to a lot of the other barre chords too.

TYIA
It's not a major chord until you add the major 3rd (B natural) on the 4th fret of the 3rd string.

And actually if you just barre the 3rd fret (G on the 6th string) it's a Gm11 (or a Gm sus 4) because you're playing C on the 5th string which is the 11th (or suspended 4th).
 

catstrat

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To get any of this stuff you need to understand the following in this order:
  1. Major scale and how it is constructed
  2. Triads - how they are used to create a major (root + third + fifth) and minor (root + minor third + fifth) chords
  3. Barre refers to the technique of playing the chord ie. laying a finger across multiple notes. It's not much help with the naming of chords which is based on the theory in points 1 and 2.
A "G barre chord" is:

g (root)
D (fifth)
B (third)
G (root)
D (fifth)
G (root)

Notice theres only 3 notes (ie. a triad). It's a major chord because the third is present, also because when you say "G chord" the major is implied. If you want a G minor you play the minor third or a half step below the third, in this case Bb (B flat).
 
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ErictheRed

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Wth regard to the "A shape", one trick I learned for barre is to use the third finger to barre the D, G and B strings. Takes a while to learn, but solves the fretting issues my sausage fingers can cause at the top of the fretboard.
Isn't that how everyone does it? Not being snarky, I just can't think of another way of playing them, though I sometimes use my pinky to Barre those three notes depending on what the song is doing. Are people trying to use three finger tips to actually fret those individual notes with individual fingers??
 

Larry8016

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Yes and yes! I remember seeing a chord chart showing exactly that - using 234 finger tips rather than barring!
 

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